Though I’d been completing the precursors to this ritual subconsciously, on a conscious level the ritual itself was completely spontaneous. In retrospect, I wonder if this is why it was such a profound experience for me.
I had been feeling out of sorts for several days. Mired waste-deep in mud is probably a more accurate description of how I’d been feeling – the absolute essence of the rune Ehwaz, reversed. I went into the room where my altar is and closed the door. Everything that came after was intuited, and it all flowed together strikingly well.
Before I launch into the ritual itself, I want to briefly belabor something witches with far more experience than I have stressed in their writings: Intention and emotional connection to a spell’s outcome trump every other factor. I was in desperate need of the healing that this spell catalyzed – my intent was focused and I was emotionally engaged. This is why my working has been successful. Though factors like the position of the moon and other celestial bodies, the correspondences chosen, (oils, herbs, etc.), and the use of ritual tools can certainly help a spell, they do not make or break it. It is not what you use, it’s how you use it.
That said here are the materials I chose:
- White sage (also called “Grandfather Sage”), for cleansing/purifying.
- Sweetgrass, for innocence.
- Loose tobacco, for offering to the Deities and creating sacred space.
- Essential oils of sage (for cleansing), basil (for protection), and coriander (for transformation – linked with the element of fire) – a drop or two of each added to the sage/sweetgrass/tobacco mixture. (Be careful not to add too much or your mixture won’t ignite.) I was called to use cedarwood oil initially, but didn’t have any. Cedarwood oil is grounding and purifying.
- Optional: charcoal burner in heat safe container for burning the mixture created from the ingredients above. (I didn’t use one for my ritual; I simply combined the ingredients in my “heat-safe” container – a large abalone shell – and fanned the small flame while I conducted the ritual. Use whatever method works best for you.)
- Black candle, symbolizing the death of the Victim, or a white candle to symbolize the birth of the Warrior (I used black.)
- Music that moves you and something to play it on (this is very important). Suggestion: almost anything by Loreena McKennitt. The Mystic’s Dream, All Soul’s Night, Kecharitomene, Santiago, The Mummer’s Dance, and The Old Ways are a few of my favorites. (Follow this link to preview songs from her most recent album. Her earlier work can be found on iTunes.) If possible, loop your music so it can play continuously.
The ritual itself follows. If you decide to work this magick, don’t hesitate to add/delete/change as you see fit to make it your own.
- Start your music. (You may want to choose a selection of songs that grow in intensity as they play. For example, the playlist I created started with a couple songs that were very peaceful and contemplative. As the last peaceful song ended, another that was more upbeat and passionate began. I ended the ritual with another peaceful, relaxing song.)
- Light your sage/tobacco/sweetgrass/oil smudge.
- Smudge yourself and your sacred space.
- If possible take your heat-safe smudge pot in your hands as you offer thanks to the Deities, the Earth Mother, your guides, and all beings of Love and Light in the Universe. With joy and humility, invite these to join you in your magickal working. I also invited the element of fire to my ritual – asking that it lend its passionate, transformative presence to my working.
- I was not lead to cast a circle for this working. Cast one if you desire. If you choose not to, instead see intense, living, loving white light enveloping you, the room you’re standing in (if any), and your entire home (if inside). The white light is less to “protect” you and more to raise your vibration.
- Light your chosen candle, reaffirming its purpose in your mind (i.e. to celebrate the death of the Victim or the birth of the Warrior).
- DANCE. There is a technique in shamanism called Dancing the Power Animal. Think of an animal you’ve felt drawn to. Imagine yourself transforming into that animal, and move as you envision it would move. As you dance, feel your energy and passion rise to a fever pitch. As you become the power animal, see/feel/know that you are casting off the energy of the Victim. As you dance, take deep breaths of bright white light from above – see/feel/know that this light is filling your entire being. Perceive the energy of the Warrior entering every part of you, filling you with courage and strength. Exhale sharply, seeing the grey, heavy energy of the Victim being expelled. Continue dancing, breathing in, and exhaling as long as you feel engaged and enlivened. As the last of your energy is spent, your heart racing and the energy of the Warrior lighting you up like a lightning rod in a thunderstorm, kneel to the ground. Place your forehead and both palms on the floor/ground. Inhale and exhale no less than three times. As you do this, see/feel/know that you and the energy you raised are grounding fully into the earth, leaving you fully present in your body, energized, peaceful, and aware of your surroundings.
- When you feel ready stand and give thanks to the Deities, the Earth Mother, your guides and power animal(s), any of the elements you called, and all beings of Love and Light in the Universe.
- Extinguish your candle if it’s still burning, and extinguish your smudge.
- Drink LOTS of water over the next three days (8-12 glasses or so – use your own judgment). You’ll want to flush out the energy of the Victim you released by working this ceremony.
- Record any insights you receive during waking hours or while asleep in your Book of Shadows or journal.